Without the six orders of the Mishnah-the early law codes of Rabbinic Judaism- the Torah would remain incomplete.
The reference of six pertains to this monumental work upon which the entire structure of Talmudic law and lore is founded.
Mishnah means to study, to review, to interpret, to change.
At the heart of these creative activities is the striving for order, for meaning, for significance and predictability. Chaos is inimical to human growth. Thus, the six orders of the Mishnah, our point of consideration on the sixth day of Hannukah, heightens our gratefulness for the capacity to bring order out of chaos, to recognize the patterns and symmetries of the world and of life.
This evening, the Sabbath, is ushered in by reciting the Kiddush, the blessing over wine. We begin with the words-“It was evening and it was morning, the sixth day;” creation was complete, leading to its culmination in the sanctity of the Sabbath day. The precursor to the peace and serenity of Sabbath is the creation of an orderly universe, a psychological and spiritual frame of reference that allows for human joy and limitless blessing.
On this sixth day of light we thank the Author of order for the gift of perceiving the patterns of life that make our lives manageable and meaningful and opens the way for greater flashes of soulful illumination.
Happy Hannukah and Shabbat Shalom.